Baku, Azerbaijan, July 18
The adoption of an amendment by the US House of Representatives to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) proposed by Congresswoman Judy Chu, which is supposedly aimed at reducing tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh, is essentially aimed at undermining Azerbaijan’s ability to ensure the Resolute Support Mission that the US and NATO are implementing in Afghanistan.
By participating in this mission since 2001, Baku agrees and ensures the security of cargo transported by the US across the territory of Azerbaijan, including the airspace, taking into account respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other and the cooperation of states.
The support of an initiative by US congressmen Ed Royce and Eliot Engel by both parties in the US Congress for a legislative amendment proposed by California-elected Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman prohibiting the provision of defense products made in the US to Azerbaijan, contradicts the statements by Representative of the US Administration John Bolton made during his visit in Baku.
The recommendations regarding air flights in the generally recognized airspace of Azerbaijan and the use of the airport in Khojaly town in Nagorno-Karabakh occupied by Armenia is illegal in general and against the interests of Washington.
The US Congressmen, short-sighted and blinded by the lies of the Armenian lobby, are trying to create legal chaos in the airspace of Azerbaijan, violate the principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, act contrary to the realities of the existing close cooperation of Azerbaijan and the US.
However, it is time to understand that Nagorno-Karabakh is the territory of Azerbaijan and the fact that for many years the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been prohibiting civil aviation flights to the region due to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The congressmen who voted for the amendment may not be interested in the functioning of the normal air defense system of Azerbaijan, however, the protection of the safety of the US soldiers in the airspace of Azerbaijan is their direct duty. Trying to please aggressor Armenia, these congressmen first of all harm the interests of the US not only in the region, but also threaten Washington’s foreign policy - NATO peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan.
It is unlikely that the amendment will help create favorable atmosphere for holding effective negotiations on the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, it is aimed at encouraging occupier Armenia, creating atmosphere in which Armenian terrorists can feel comfortable.
The history of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict knows many facts when Armenian terrorists shot down Azerbaijani civilian planes and helicopters. Trying to interfere and by violating the rights of sovereign Azerbaijan, which so far has been providing and continues to provide a safe air corridor for the US and NATO forces, the congressmen shouldn’t encourage the creation of an uncontrolled zone in the occupied territories of Nagorno-Karabakh, from where Armenian terrorists may launch missiles on vehicles, including those of the US.
Here the case is to ensure that the members of the Resolute Support mission, being implemented by NATO in Afghanistan and where Azerbaijan participates, can transport cargo through Azerbaijani territory as part of this mission. So far, Azerbaijan has contributed to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, as well as to promoting peace and security in the region as a whole, guided namely by this approach.
It is known that due to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, during the NATO summit on May 25, 2017, it was decided to increase the number of troops deployed in this country from 12,000 to 15,000 people, which indicates the increased interest of the NATO Resolute Support Mission.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking April 4 this year at a press conference in Washington, said that Azerbaijan is a close partner of NATO and works closely with the organization in establishing international peace and security. The secretary general noted the significant contribution of Azerbaijan in the provision of armed forces and multimodal transit for the NATO Resolute Support Mission. The secretary general represents the collective position of the NATO countries, and this statement by the secretary general was made namely taking into account the safety of the corridors provided by Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan’s partnership with the US worries and annoys many, but Baku prefers a multi-vector, balanced policy. It seems that some congressmen, taking the side of Armenia, hiding behind humanism and making decisions in favor of Armenia’s occupying army in Nagorno-Karabakh, are pushing Baku to reconsider its foreign policy. These same people have done everything that led to a crisis in US relations with Turkey, and now they are working to split the cooperation of Azerbaijan with NATO, but they haven’t succeeded so far.